HARAHAN, La. — A Louisiana police chief reportedly says an offer by his department to test methamphetamine for Zika was meant to bring attention to the growing meth problem.
The Harahan Police Department made this announcement on a Facebook post, encouraging anyone who has crystal meth to bring it to their local police department for a free test. The department also said if someone was not comfortable going directly to the police station, then they can just simply make a phone call and "an officer will be glad to come to you and test your Meth in the privacy of your home."
The New Orleans Advocate reports Police Chief Tim Walker said no one so far had taken his department up on the offer. He said one of his officers made the post and was intended as an attention-getter.
“There is an opioid and meth problem. It’s all over the country,” Walker told the Avocate.
This is not the first time a police department has made this offer. An Ohio police department made the same Facebook post in May, using almost the exact same wording. However, it added a disclaimer that meth cannot be a host for the virus. An assistant chief told CNN that he had no intention of arresting anyone who took police up on the offer, but rather hoped to steer them toward getting help.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Zika can be spread through mosquito bites, from mother to child, through sexual intercourse, blood transfusion, or in laboratory and healthcare settings.